URBANA – The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign reported Friday that a student is being treated for bacterial meningitis, but there is a low risk of the illness spreading in the general population.
That’s because the student lived in off-campus housing and has been isolated in a hospital during treatment.
In a notice to the community, the U of I said the diagnosis was confirmed by the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District. Health officials have contacted and treated anyone who had close contact with the student.
No other information was given, including the timeline of the illness or current condition of the patient.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, meningitis is an inflammation (swelling) of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord.
Bacterial meningitis can spread quickly by sharing saliva or spit during coughing, kissing or living with someone else.
Symptoms such as fever, headache and stiff neck develop 3 to 7 days after exposure.
Vaccines can help prevent some types of bacterial meningitis. A patient can be treated with antibiotics. But a person who is not treated could suffer brain damage or even death.